Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brief Exposure To High Temperatures Has Lasting Effect On Nervous System

Date:
February 23, 1999
Source:
University Of Chicago Hospitals & Health System
Summary:
Researchers at the University of Chicago in collaboration with scientists at Queens University in Ontario, Canada, have shown for the first time that brief exposure to high temperatures has long-lasting physiological effects on the nervous system. These changes, which the researchers measured in locusts, may be what enables the animals to fly in very hot environments.

Researchers at the University of Chicago in collaboration with scientists at Queens University in Ontario, Canada, have shown for the first time that brief exposure to high temperatures has long-lasting physiological effects on the nervous system. These changes, which the researchers measured in locusts, may be what enables the animals to fly in very hot environments.

Related Articles


The study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Neurophysiology, is also the first to use a new technique, allowing scientists to measure changes in neuronal activity in insects' minute brains.

"Scientists have suspected that heat shock has adaptive properties for all kinds of animals, we just haven't had any direct evidence until now," says Nino Ramirez, Ph.D., assistant professor of organismal biology & anatomy at the University of Chicago. Ramirez and R.M. Robertson, Ph.D., professor of biology at Queens University, decided to look into how heat exposure effects the locust's ability to fly.

"Locusts that are transferred from cooler places to a warm desert have trouble flying and some even die," says Ramirez. "But locusts exposed to brief periods of high temperatures and later released into the desert can fly normally. We thought that previous heat exposure might have changed the properties of the neurons somehow," says Ramirez.

To test the idea that heat shock induces lasting modifications of neuronal properties, Ramirez and Robertson exposed 50 locusts to 45 degree Celsius temperatures (about 112 degrees Fahrenheit) for 3 hours, while control locusts were kept at room temperature (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for the same amount of time. Heat-shocked locusts were allowed 6 to 24 hours to recover.

"We couldn't measure activity in single neurons because they are too tiny," Ramirez says. "We had no choice but to measure from slices of the brain which are large enough to preserve relatively intact neuronal activity, but thin enough for us to insert measuring devices. To do this, we had to create a whole new procedure for taking slices of the insect's brain, something that no one had done before," says Ramirez.

Cells in the slices were kept alive in a petri dish and Ramirez monitored the neurons using tools thinner than a human hair. What the researchers found surprised them. "We expected to see some changes in the flow of calcium from the neurons, but instead, we found that potassium outflow from the neurons of heat-shocked locusts was greatly reduced," says Ramirez.

The significance of this difference is not yet known, but Ramirez suspects that it might reduce the sensitivity of the locust's flight motor neurons, allowing the insect to fly in ultra-high temperatures. "There is definitely adaptive significance to the change in potassium levels, although more investigation is required to determine exactly how the changes influence the locust's ability to fly in extreme heat," Ramirez explains.

Next, Ramirez wants to see if heat shock has the same neuroprotective role in invertebrates. "If we see the same effect in mice we can start trying to figure out exactly how heat shock plays this protective role," says Ramirez. "Then we might be able to mimic those protective effects in cases where the nerves are undergoing trauma, like in stroke patients where the nerves are starved and attacked by free radicals."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Chicago Hospitals & Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Chicago Hospitals & Health System. "Brief Exposure To High Temperatures Has Lasting Effect On Nervous System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990223082305.htm>.
University Of Chicago Hospitals & Health System. (1999, February 23). Brief Exposure To High Temperatures Has Lasting Effect On Nervous System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990223082305.htm
University Of Chicago Hospitals & Health System. "Brief Exposure To High Temperatures Has Lasting Effect On Nervous System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990223082305.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins